Given the last 10 months, it seems almost impossible that we would be seeing Antonio Brown rumors in June. And yet! Last week brought some reports (that have since been shot down) that the Baltimore Ravens were thinking about bringing him in, which makes a certain amount of sense given they employ his cousin, Marquise Brown.
Today, NFL insider Mike Lombardi went on the Pat McAfee Show to suggest he's been hearing rumblings that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be interested in Brown's services.
To briefly recap, in the last year Brown, with all of his unearthly talent, got himself cut from two teams, burned every bridge possible on his way out, and became mired in several lawsuits that included accusations of rape and sexual assault. Those lawsuits are still in progress. Brown will almost definitely be suspended once they finish up for violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Despite all that, Bucs rumors abound. But one very simple Bruce Arians quote from March of this year, provided by The Athletic's Greg Auman, rains all over that potential parade.
If it was just about the money, we could still consider it a likelihood. But Arians' belief that he's not a fit and there's no room has almost certainly not changed in three months. As Auman notes, the Bucs drafted a receiver in April to add to their already-stacked wideout room. "Fit" could also be referring to his locker room fit, and there is bountiful evidence to suggest Brown is not a good fit for any locker room in the NFL.
I'm sure Lombardi is right in saying there has been some lobbying from Bucs players to add Brown. Tom Brady let the man stay at his house and is currently very much in the business of ignoring reality for the sake of convenience. But Arians does not strike me as a man who goes back on his word, especially when it's as definitive as his quote above. Against all odds, Brown may still end up on an NFL roster this year, but it won't be in Tampa Bay.
UPDATE: I have been validated by Dianna Russini.